Crisp spinach and lettuce, sweet raspberries and juicy pears topped with an easy Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette make this salad the one to beat. It’s an easy and delicious salad that is the perfect compliment to any meal.
Every year on Christmas Eve we have a lovely meal that starts with this salad. It’s made up of lettuce (usually Romaine and/or spinach), pears (we like the red ones), raspberries, dried cranberries, pecans and crumbled goat cheese (or Gorgonzola or Feta), and a bottled Raspberry dressing.
And then we don’t eat it again for a year.
Believe it or not, we actually just realized that this past Christmas. We literally were eating this salad, which my entire family could scarf down in practically one bite, one day a year. It’s not because it’s difficult to make, and it’s not because the ingredients are hard to find. Nope. Apparently we just forgot that we didn’t have to reserve one of our all-time favorite things to a holiday.
So we decided that we were going to make it more often. I thought it might be easier (and cheaper) to make the dressing from scratch. I sought out recipes and eventually picked and chose ingredients that I thought would taste the same and came up with this super easy Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette.
It’s simple to make with a few fresh raspberries, olive oil, balsamic and white wine vinegar. Pulsed in a blender or food processor blends it up really well, but the seeds are left behind so you’ll want to have a fine mesh colander to strain the dressing through.
Once the seeds are strained out, you’re left with about 1 cup of dressing. It will keep nicely in a tightly sealed container for about a week. But I doubt you’ll be able to refrain from eating all in a couple of days.
For best results, you’ll want to follow the dressing recipe, but the salad itself can be tailored to your likes; use as much or as little as you want of the lettuces, fruits and nuts. But please don’t skimp on the goat cheese (it’s my favorite part!).
Raspberry & Pear Salad with Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette
Yield 8 servings
Salad (Measurements are approximate - use as much or as little as you like)
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 3/4 cup raspberries
- 1 Red or green pear
- 2 tablespoons toasted or candied pecans
- 2 ounces Alouette crumbled Goat cheese (my favorite brand)
- Raspberry Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- Honey to taste
- Salt to taste
- Divide lettuce and spinach leaves into salad bowls or plates. Drizzle/toss with Raspberry Vinaigrette and top with fresh raspberries, pear slices, pecans and goat cheese.
- In a blender or food processor, combine raspberries, vinegars and a tablespoon or so of honey. Pulse in the blender until smooth. Taste and add more honey, salt and pepper as desired.
- Strain the seeds from the dressing with a fine mesh colander.
- Store in a tightly sealed container for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Measurements for the salad ingredients are approximate. Use as much or as little as you need depending on how many people you are serving. Save leftover Raspberry Vinaigrette in a tightly sealed jar.
Looking for more delicious salads? Try these: